Hello! I’m now blogging at quoded.wordpress.com; there’s an excellent series of posts by Quoded about the right to choose, but so much more: politics, philosophy, linguistics, cinema, popular culture, and more. Check it out!

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When the “forcible rape” language appeared in HR3, activist Chloe Heintz asked a collective of her fellow feminist students to take action, making videos to reflect the reality that the bill denied: that rape is in itself a violent crime, and that any restriction on access to reproductive rights is an attack on anyone in the US who can get pregnant.

Ms. Heintz’s video went viral. Her story is a powerful testimony to the reality of many rape survivors and the Planned Parenthood centers and other clinics that serve them. She was interviewed on CBS, and is now a Community Educator with Victim’s Assistance Services. We’re so proud and honored to have her in our community.

In addition to individual stories, I wanted to visually represent collective action. The first crowd-sourced video drew on contributions from people from several states, ranging in age from their teens to their sixties, people male and female, straight and queer, libertarian, democrat, socialist, and more. The message is simple: we want to live in a country that respects reproductive freedoms.

The second crowd-sourced Join Hands for Choice video is now online. It was made by the original group of young feminists that Ms. Heintz intially mobilized into action. Please watch it, share it, and if you want to join us in this message, take a photo or video of your own handwritten or typed statement for choice and e-mail it to joinhandsus@gmail.com.

The next crowd-sourced video will be coming soon, and it will be based around the NARAL Lobby For Choice day. Stay tuned for details on how to participate, or e-mail joinhandsus@gmail.com for more info.

The heartrending story of a woman who had to decide to terminate a very-much-wanted pregnancy rather than wait as her baby slowly died in the womb:

I look back, and try to think about what caused the congenital defects, how I could have prevented them.  But taking more vitamins was not going to prevent the defects, or the termination.  We were just part of that unlucky 1%.  I joined many online support groups, and met women who did not have an ‘easy’ option.  They had to go out of state, make travel arrangements, financial arrangements.  Arrangements for their families and their work.  I was a lucky one, with choices and the means available. Given the process took nearly a week, if we had our original Big Ultrasound one week later, I may not have been able to terminate.  Because some politicians in our state had decided that no matter the circumstances, my own, personal circumstances, if it was any later in the pregnancy they had decided that my family and I could not make our own decision with input from my own doctors….

….you really do have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you know what they are going through.  Offer compassion before judgment.  Instead, regarding terminations, some people say that you must endure, even if you have been raped.  Or if your partner is abusive.  Or your life is in danger (mentally or physically). Or your much-wanted baby is dying.  You must continue to be a living coffin. You must listen to the heartbeat that you have already listened to every month.  You must look at your fetus that you tried so hard for, that you wanted, that you were excited about, that you told the whole world about, before you go through with the already impossible decision to try to save your own sanity, and your own life.  If I had carried that fetus to some sort of induced birth, I would not have my beautiful child today.  I can not imagine the absolute mental anguish that I would have gone through for another month, two months, 4 months.  I would have not been able to imagine a happy and successful pregnancy and birth. Ever.

[emphasis added by me]

Continuing her pregnancy would not have allowed her baby to live. Instead, she would have had to wait, through mental and physical torture, until her fetus finally died in utero. Is that really in the best interests of women, children, and families?

This is one reason we must keep abortion safe and legal. Thankfully for her, it was also accessible. My best wishes for her and her family.

Keep Abortion Safe and Legal

April 7th is Lobby for Choice day! Join NARAL in Washington D.C. to let Congress and the President know that you support the right to choose.

There’s too much bad news these days about health care, pregnancy care, bodily autonomy, and the right to privacy. Just today I learned that in addition to criminalizing miscarriage, anti-choicers want to make even considering abortion a thought crime.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, and it must remain that way for our health, our sanity, our society, and our very lives.

I can’t wait to visit D.C. (for the first time ever!) and make my voice heard. I’m looking forward to meeting my incredible Senator Gillibrand and uniting with feminist friends … and feminist friends I haven’t met yet.

Hope to see you there!

Call this number to be forwarded to your Rep: 202-730-9001. Ask hir to support Planned Parenthood (NO on HR217). In NY in 2008, Title X clinics served 311,500 women who could not afford contraceptives (66% below federal poverty level). To find your state’s stats, see the Guttmacher Institute’s handy tool.
Contraception: one of the best abortion prevention strategies.